Meet Us

SDEE has a number of truly fantastic events that range from our monthly happy hours to expert-led workshops and networking events.

Want to sponsor an event or happy hour? Please visit

  • Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 12:00 PM
    BDO in San Diego, CA

    Strategies for Protecting Life Science Inventions

    Wagenknecht Law Group logoBDO logo

    Please join us for a lunch and learn to have an informal discussion about how to best strategize to protect your life science inventions and minimize costs. Please come prepared to ask questions and share you own experiences.


    • Protecting DNA & Protein Sequences
    • Approaches for expanding patent scope to cover protein fragments & variants
    • Steps for protecting diagnostic tests
    • Considerations when pursuing medical treatments internationally
    • Factors in support of keeping your platform technology as trade secret

    About our Speakers:

    Ray Wagenknecht s a patent attorney with strong ties to San Diego's research and development community with 15 years of experience protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights. Ray's practice includes comprehensive patent and trademark representation, including patent and trademark prosecution, due diligence, freedom to operate (FTO) analysis, and trademark opposition proceedings.

    Ray received his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree from the University of San Diego School of Law (USD), and his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Molecular Biology from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

    Antony Novom is a patent attorney with more than 18 years of experience counseling clients in all areas of intellectual property protection, prepares and prosecutes patent applications in a wide range of technologies, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, clean tech, biofuels, and electronic hardware.

    Antony received his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree from California Western School of Law, San Diego, and his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). 

    Wagenknecht IP Law Group is a full-service intellectual property boutique law firm representing corporations, universities, and nonprofit institutions. The Firm has consistently been recognized as a "Top Patent Firm" by Intellectual Property Today Magazine and was awarded "Best for Medical Device Patent & Trademark Protection" from Acquisition International. 

    This is a complimentary event! 

    RSVP by October 16th to: “Andy” Kotner

    *** Please indicate food preference for Sandwich Choice: – Chicken, Beef, or Vegetarian

  • Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 06:00 PM
    WeWork UTC in San Diego, CA

    Food Waste Reimagined

    Thursday, October 24
    6:00pm – 8:00pm

    8910 University Center Lane Aventine, San Diego, CA 92122

    San Diego has long been a leader in sustainability.The region has a growing ecosystem focused on promoting funding and entrepreneurship. Join us for an evening with three entrepreneurs committed to working with “waste” and protecting our planet.


    Sponsored by:



    6:00 – 6:10pm:  Registration

    6:10 – 6:35pm:    Panelist Talks

    6:35 – 7:00pm:  Panel Q &A

    7:00 – 8:00pm: Networking

    This event is free and open to the public.



  • Thursday, November 07, 2019 at 02:00 PM
    Takeda California in San Diego, CA

    Takeda Partnering Day

    Join us for an opportunity to pitch your startup to Takeda Business Development and Takeda Ventures

    Network with Takeda Executives and other CEOs/Founders

    Thursday, November 7, 2019 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm

    Submissions due by Monday, October 21



    Takeda California
    9625 Towne Center Drive, San Diego, CA 92121


    Sponsored By:

    Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (“Takeda”) is focused on the therapeutic areas of oncology, rare disease, neuroscience, and gastroenterology.

    Takeda Ventures, Inc. (TVI) seeks to partner with entrepreneurs offering differentiated emerging product or technology opportunities, hallmarked by a clear strategic plan, and a management team focused on effective execution. These opportunities should signal the potential for significant value creation through, for example, improved efficiencies in drug discovery and development, identification of new therapeutic targets, or the introduction of innovative new drug candidates.

    Takeda is an agile biopharmaceutical company; an ecosystem of focused researchers, external industrial partners academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and venture capital firms. We have a highly experienced alliance team with commercial expertise and a track record of success across the entire product lifecycle. Takeda is open to exploring new and different ways of partnering.

    2:00 – 5:00 pm 1:1 meetings with Takeda Ventures and Takeda Business Development

    Jonathan Lanfear, Vice President and Global Head of R&D Business Development, Takeda Pharmaceuticals
    Beth Shafer, Head of Neuroscience Business Development, Takeda Pharmaceuticals
    Jayson Punwani, Partner, Takeda Ventures

    5:30 - 6:15 pm Panel Discussion

    Moderator: Killu Sanborn, Managing Director, Oxford Finance
    Jonathan Lanfear, Vice President and Global Head of R&D Business Development, Takeda Pharmaceuticals
    Jayson Punwani, Partner, Takeda Ventures
    Beth Shafer, Head of Neuroscience Business Development, Takeda Pharmaceuticals
    David Weitz, Head of Takeda California and Global Research Externalization

    6:30 - 8:00 pm Reception
    (includes all SDEE companies who applied but not selected)


    To Apply  

    To be considered for this event, you must be a Small Business or Corporate member. Please submit a single page executive summary, or non-confidential slide deck (less than 25 slides) by October 21, 2019 via email to:

    You will be notified by November 1 if your company has been selected for a 1:1 meeting. ALL APPLICANTS are invited and encouraged to attend the panel discussion and reception.

    (Join here:


    Jonathan Lanfear, Vice President and Global Head of R & D Business Development, Takeda Pharmaceuticals

    Jonathan Lanfear is Vice President and Global Head of R&D Business Development at Takeda Pharmaceuticals and is based in Cambridge, MA.  Prior to joining Takeda in 2011, Mr. Lanfear spent approximately 8 years at Pfizer Inc as a Senior Director and Transactions Lead in the Worldwide Business Development, Strategy, & Innovation (WWBDS&I) organization based in New York.  Mr. Lanfear’s prior roles also include Biotechnology Equity Research coverage at AG Edwards/Wachovia where his team participated in public offerings of many key Biotechnology Stocks including Human Genome Sciences, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, and Onyx Pharmaceuticals.  Prior to joining AG Edwards, Mr. Lanfear spent several years in Business Development at Searle/Pharmacia where he worked on numerous significant licensing transactions prior to the company’s acquisition.  Over his ~25-year career in the industry, Mr. Lanfear has lead hundreds of transactions of all types, integrated acquired entities, and managed strategic alliances/partnerships.  Mr. Lanfear holds a Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Bioengineering, both from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), along with an MBA from Washington University (St. Louis).  He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Molecular Templates, a oncology focused publicly traded company based in New Jersey.

    Beth Shafer, Head of Neuroscience Business Development at Takeda Pharmaceuticals

    Dr. Beth Shafer is the Head of Neuroscience Business Development at Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd and is based in Boston.  She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Aquinnah, a private neuroscience company based in Cambridge.  Prior to joining Takeda, she was the Head of Search & Evaluation for Ophthalmology and Disease Area X that encompassed Hepatology, Nephrology and Benign Hematology at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) in Cambridge, MA.  As an integral member of the Disease Area Leadership at NIBR, she helped to bolster their portfolio and research strategies by creating and executing on external partnership solutions.  Prior to her time at Novartis Dr. Shafer led deal teams, global scouting teams and cross-functional pharmaceutical project teams (to enable strategic decisions, licensing transactions and equity investments) at F. Hoffmann-La Roche in Basel, Switzerland.  In these roles, she was integral to building therapeutic area portfolios and to developing strategies for disruptive technologies, and at Roche, she played a critical role in defining the organization’s Rare Disease strategy and initiatives focused on novel therapeutic modalities.  Prior to her time in Pharma, Beth completed extensive training in the Neurosciences, molecular biology and biophysics. She undertook her Masters degree at Columbia University in New York and PhD at University of California, San Diego (UCSD). She also completed her post-doctoral fellowship at UCSD, during which time, she worked as a consultant to Brain Cells Inc in San Diego.

    Jayson Punwani, Partner at Takeda Ventures

    Jayson is a Partner at Takeda Ventures. He has a long track record of working successfully with entrepreneurs to advance novel therapies through development and onto the market. Jayson is a member of the Board of Directors of ArmaGen, Coho Therapeutics, Palleon Pharmaceuticals, StrideBio and Velos Bio. He was formerly a board observer for Aura Biosciences, Avidity Biosciences, Bioniz, CoLucid (NASDAQ:CLCD, acquired by Eli Lilly), and Lumena Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Shire), among others. Jayson was previously a Senior Principal at Pappas Ventures and prior to that, he was co-manager for the Kenan-Flagler Private Equity Fund. He started his career as a research scientist in the cardiovascular drug discovery group at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

    David Weitz, Head of Takeda California and Global Research Externalization, Takeda California, Inc.

    David Weitz is Head of Takeda California and Global Research Externalization.  As the leader of Takeda’s research site in San Diego, David works to maintain the center’s agile, Takeda’s research site in San Diego, David works to maintain the center’s agile, collaborative and entrepreneurial approach to drug discovery research and has direct responsibility for several research platform groups including Structural Biology and Biophysics, Early Target Discovery, and Computational Biology.  David also works to enhance Takeda’s research agility, capacity and access to technology through partnering, most recently through alliances with Evotec, Schrodinger and Numerate. 

    David has over 25 years of experience in research, business, legal, and intellectual property, as well as a proven track record of alliance formation which he uses to increase Takeda’s agility in securing external partnerships and collaborations as a key source of external innovation.  David is a licensed patent attorney and was a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto focusing on life science intellectual property prior to joining Takeda (then Syrrx, Inc.) in 2002.  David received a B.S. in chemistry from M.I.T., a M.S. in chemistry from University of California, Berkeley and a Juris Doctor from University of California, Berkeley.

    Panel Moderator
    Killu Sanborn, Managing Director, Oxford Finance

    Killu Sanborn, Ph.D., Managing Director, Oxford Finance, LLC, has over 25 years of experience as a venture debt and venture equity investor, banker, executive, entrepreneur and researcher. She was previously, Managing Director of Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Senior Vice President at Comerica Bank, and Principal and Fund Manager with IngleWood Ventures, Director of Technology Commercialization at Stratagene, and first employee and Vice President of Business Development of Phenogenex. As venture debt provider and VC, she has closed over $500 million in financings to dozens of life science and medical technology companies, including syndicated deals. Her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology is from Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences/Sloan-Kettering Institute joint graduate program in New York City.

  • Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 05:00 PM


  • Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 05:30 PM · 9 rsvps
    New English Brewing Company in San Diego, CA

    November Happy Hour

    Come network with your fellow San Diego entrepreneurs at Happy Hour held at the New English Brewing Company in Sorrento Valley. This month's Happy Hour is sponsored by SDEE member, Axiom Real-Time MetricsAxiom Real-Time Metrics delivers intuitive, powerful and cost-effective services and solutions focused on successful clinical trial execution and management. Axiom’s eClinical suite, Fusion, with 15+ optional modules, serves as a complete connected hub for clinical data and operational needs, enabling sponsors to tailor their solutions based on evolving study requirements.

    SDEE members, stop by the SDEE table first, make a name-tag, and then exchange your business card with Axiom for one free pizza ticket from Angry Pete's Pizza and one free drink ticket. (You must be an SDEE member to receive the free tickets.) Not a member yet? Just ask SDEE about the benefits of joining and/or ask members at the event about the benefits they've received from joining. Our members are happy to spread the word! 

    Everyone is welcome (registration is free!), SDEE members get 10% drinks discount.

  • Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at 05:00 PM
    TBD in San Diego, CA

    Year End Social

    Save the date! Get ready to mingle and jingle on Tuesday, December 10th!

    Location to be announced soon. 

  • Tuesday, January 07, 2020 at 05:00 PM


  • Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at 05:00 PM


  • Monday, March 02, 2020 at 12:00 PM through March 05, 2020
    Loews Coronado Resort

    Festival of Biologics USA, March 2 - 4, 2020

    The Festival of Biologics brings together senior biologics professionals to showcase their research, collaborate on challenges, forge new connections and ultimately advance the industry to improve patient health.

    It is the meeting place for the life science community to bridge the gap between academia and industry. With three events in one, the Festival of Biologics encourages conversation across the entire industry so you can inspire change, champion innovation, and address complex challenges.

    Purchase tickets here:

  • Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at 05:00 PM


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SDEE is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded by local San Diego entrepreneurs
in order to provide a voice for the early stage start-up, to support new entrepreneurs and their companies,
and to sponsor networking and educational events
to help develop the skills necessary to bring funding, business, and jobs to the San Diego area.

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